Senator B 1988-1992
The Senator B was introduced to the market in September 1986, as a follow up to the Senator A, which Opel had positioned in the luxury sedan segment. In spite of the undeniably good qualities of Opel´s largest car, it found it difficult to establish itself in the luxury large sedan class. This was down to a lack of image…The Opel brand was too strongly associated with everyday, no nonsense, provincial vehicles.
The main characteristics of the new Senator were soft, round contours and large windows. It lived up to its first name and made an impression through its anything but flippant appearance. It wasn´t to be messed with.
The engines were the six cylinder 2969cc line version (177hp without a catalyst and 156hp with catalyst) which were known from its predecessor.
In 1990 Opel brought a new engine onto the market, characterised by double camshafts and 24 valves. The customer could choose between a 2.6/24v version with 156hp or a 2.0/24v version with 204hp DOHC engine. The rear axis of the 24v was adjusted in order to provide the new power source with a suitable propulsion,
The wonderfully silken six in a row has great thrust and, thanks partly to the refined exhaust system (Dual Ram), the car can reach 270Nm at 3600 revs.
With the top luxury package in the CD model (Corps Diplomatique), the client could own a relatively inconspicuous classy car with excellent performance, a real limousine with sports car properties. The CD version cost around 12.000 Euros above the basic version at that time. In the last year of production, 1993, a Senator 3.0i 24V cost a whole 55.000 Euros, which at that time was the cost equivalent of a small house!
Omega A 1987-1993
Opel retired the well-known series of Rekord models in 1986 and introduced the new name Omega. In doing this Opel wanted to show that the Omega was a completely new model which had nothing to do with its predecessors. Even so the Omega still had engines placed lengthways with rear wheel drive, in contrast to the perpendicularly placed fore wheel drive engines in the other new models: Astra, Vectra and Corsa.
After five years of development with a budget of 2 billion DM, the Omega was rewarded straightaway with the title “Car of the year” in 1986. When the Omega was launched the reactions were a little lukewarm. The car was described as being an ‘inflated’ Kadett. And indeed the family resemblance is striking.
The introduction started with eight different engines: the 1.8 and 2.0 four cylinder and the 3.0-12v six cylinder engines. The bodywork design took great care to ensure a streamlined shape. A Cw-value of 0.28 was achieved.
The equipment levels, LS, GL, GLS and CD were known from the other models in the family, now adapted to a four door sedan and a five door caravan. The Omega 3000 became the top model, kitted out with a six cylinder engine and an extensive bodykit. In 1989 the newly designed 3.0-24v became available in the Omega.
A number of special Omega A models were made. To start with the Omega EVO500. Based on the Omega 3000, it included a 3.0 6 in-line 230 hp engine which had been further developed by Irmscher. From 0 to 100 km/hour took 7.5 seconds and the speedometer went up to 249 km/hour.
From the model year 1991 onwards, the engine range changed, a new 2.4E (125 hp) four cylinder replaced the calm 2.5 six cylinder; the 3.0-12v and the 1.8 E disappeared and a 2.6E (150 hp) dualram was introduced. A few changes were made to bumpers, grille and rear lights.
The Lotus Omega was first displayed in 1990. Lotus had been a part of the GM concern for a number of years and gave the Omega a 376 hp 3.6 litre engine with two Garrett turbo compressors. The Lotus Omega or Lotus Carlton had a completely adapted bodywork based on the Omega A 3000. This was shipped to Lotus’ home base and equipped with Lotus suspension, AP-brakes and a six speed gearbox from parent company GM (C4 ZR1 Corvette). With its 377 hp strong 3.6 L-engine (C36GET) it reached a top speed of 283 km/hour. It took 5.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/hour. In 1991 the Lotus Omega was the fastest sedan in the world after the Alpine B10 Biturbo (291 km/hour). The idea was to produce 1100 vehicles, but as a result of disappointing sales figures as well as negative commentary from British politicians, only 950 were ever built.